Transfer news - Real Madrid's asking price could derail Manchester United's move for Raphael Varane - Paper Round
Real Madrid's €60-million asking price could be a stumbling block in Manchester United's pursuit of Raphael Varane. Elsewhere, Arsenal face fierce competition for the signings of top transfer targets Ben White and Manuel Locatelli, and new Tottenham Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo has been promised that Harry Kane will not be sold by Spurs this summer. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Raphael Varane of Real Madrid looks on during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid and Villarreal CF at Estadio Alfredo de Stefano on May 22, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.
Varane's valuation could cause problems for Man Utd
Manchester United are planning to follow up the £72.9 million signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund with Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane. However, the Telegraph report that the Premier League club are unwilling to meet Real Madrid's €60-million asking price for the World Cup winner. Varane has just one year remaining on his current contract at the Santiago Bernabeu and isn't too keen on signing a new deal. Manchester United believe his value should be lower due to his contract situation and the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, while Los Blancos desperately need the money to rebuild their squad.
Paper Round's view: Real Madrid are in a mess. Club captain Sergio Ramos has left the Spanish capital for free after his contract expired and now their other first-choice centre-back Varane looks extremely likely to follow him out of the door. The club are demanding a huge fee because they need to sign at least one new centre-back this summer. It seems like Pau Torres will probably join from Villarreal - but he will cost a huge chunk of money. On the other side of the transfer... Manchester United could be a real force next season if they complete deals for both Sancho and Varane.
Arsenal face fierce competition for Ben White after Everton entered the race for the Brighton defender. The Sun report that the new Toffees boss Rafa Benitez has made White a "transfer priority" and Everton are already willing to meet Brighton's asking price of £50 million for the England international. Arsenal have had two bids rejected by the Seagulls and are reported to be negotiating a package of £45 million plus an extra £5 million in add-ons.
Paper Round's view: This will panic Arsenal - who have also made White their number one priority signing at centre-back this summer. The 23-year-old has been on the radar of a number of top clubs, including Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain. However, Arsenal have been the only club to make a bid and it looked like a transfer was almost complete. Adding Everton into the mix, with a highly-rated manager like Benitez, will definitely stir things up. It could push the Gunners to up their bid to meet Brighton's asking price and then White would a huge decision to make.
Raiola offers Donnarumma to ‘good friend’ for free – Euro Papers
Spurs to enter Locatelli race
Tottenham Hotspur could enter the race to sign Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo this summer, according to the Star. The 23-year-old has quickly become Italy's breakout star at Euro 2020 and there have been reports that Spurs' north London rivals Arsenal have already submitted an opening bid for the midfielder. Sassuolo sporting director Giovanni Carnevali admitted that Arsenal have "tabled the only concrete offer" they have received, but Italian giants Juventus are also interested. Former Juve Chief Football Officer and newly-appointed Tottenham Director of Football Fabio Paratici is weighing up a potential bid for Locatelli.
Paper Round's view: There's no doubt that Locatelli has been one of the shining lights at the Euros. The whole Italian team has been a joy to watch and they are one of the favourites to win the whole thing now. Locatelli was linked with a transfer this summer before the tournament even started, but Sassuolo will be delighted that his performances on the big stage have inflated his value. Realistically, Arsenal and Spurs don't have much of a chance if Juventus are interested. Would you rather play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League, in the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League or not in Europe at all?
Newly-appointed Tottenham Hotspur head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has been told that star striker Harry Kane is not for sale this summer, according to the Mail. The 27-year-old's future has been up in the air in recent months and Kane has been linked with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has assured Espirito Santo that the club will continue to shut down any transfer talks, but an "extraordinary offer" could change his mind. Levy values his prized asset at a minimum transfer fee of £150 million.
Paper Round's view: It's not really a promise to keep Kane if an "extraordinary offer" could be accepted. It's basically saying that if Spurs' asking price is met, Kane will leave. The England striker doesn't seem like the kind of player who will throw his toys out of the pram if his boyhood club refuse to let him leave, but it's no secret that his desire is to win trophies. Espirito Santo's appointment is the start of a new era for Tottenham, but it's not one that will immediately be rewarded with silverware. Maybe Spurs should sell up for a huge transfer fee (north of £100 million) and use the money to rebuild.